Synopses & Reviews
Flying aircraft such as the Macchi 200-202, Fiat G.50 and biplane Fiat CR.42, the Italian fighter pilots were recognised by their Allied counterparts as brave opponents blessed with sound flying abilities, but employing under-gunned and underpowered equipment. Following the Italian surrender in September 1943, a number of aces continued to take the fight to the Allies as part of the Luftwaffe-run ANR, which was equipped with far more potent equipment such as the Bf 109G, Macchi 205V and Fiat G.55. Flying these types, the handful of ANR squadrons continued to oppose Allied bombing raids on northern Italy until VE-Day.
In the 1930s, a brilliant knack for building internal combustion engines, a flair for design, and a supply of talented pilots seemed to place Italy on the cusp of European air supremacy. As Allied nations and Germany began producing more powerful engines, however, the Italians fell woefully behind until resurrected by powerplants from their German allies. The result was a range of designs that never earned the notoriety of their German, British, and American counterparts, but nevertheless provided the aircraft for 102 aces, mostly in the skies over Malta and North Africa.
This rare look at Italy's World War II aces features 40 specially commissioned color plates researched from original sources and detailing the aircraft flown by Italian aces, including the Fiat G.55, Macchi C.205, Reggiane Re 2005, and others. Paint schemes, markings, and uniforms are also depicted and accompanied by a detailed text explaining the conflicts, tables of units involved, and interviews with several leading aces. Archival photos are sourced from the best collections from across the globe.
About the Author
Giorgio Apostolo runs the leading Italian aviation publishing company GAE, and has become the recognised authority on the Regia Aeronautica during World War 2.